Description

Penfolds Grange Vertical 2014, 2015, 2016
98% / 97% Shiraz, 2% / 3% Cabernet Sauvignon | Alc: 14.5%
South Australia, Australia

Winemaker’s notes:
The original and most powerful expression of Penfolds multi-vineyard, multi-district blending philosophy, Grange is arguably Australia’s most celebrated wine and is officially listed as a Heritage Icon of South Australia. Crafted utilising fully-ripe, intensely-flavoured and structured Shiraz grapes, the result is a unique Australian style that is now recognised as one of the most consistent of the world’s great wines. With an unbroken line of vintages from the experimental 1951, Grange clearly demonstrates the synergy between Shiraz and the soils and climates of South Australia.

Grange was recently recognized as a First Growth in Liv-ex’s recreation of the Bordeaux 1855 classification.

Critical Acclaim:
“Rich, concentrated and intense, the 2014 Grange delivers exactly what we’ve come to expect from this Penfolds icon wine. It’s full-bodied, velvety in feel and loaded with plummy fruit, framed in vanilla and cedar. Dense, powerful and tannic, it should prove to be long lived, even by Grange standards. Gago doesn’t rate the vintage overall that highly, but he says the selection this year for Grange was a bit more stringent and that production levels were just average. There are still over 1,000 cases for the United States.” 98 Pts – Wine Advocate

“The nose of the 2015 Grange features the wine’s characteristic lifted aromas, joined by pronounced American oak influence and bold blackberry fruit, plus hints of red meat, raspberries, asphalt and vanilla. It’s dense and concentrated on the palate, full-bodied yet balanced and firm, with a rich, velvety texture and long, plush finish. Don’t expect great complexity at this stage—it’s much too young to show much more than the primary fruit and oak elements—but this is a Grange that should easily go three or four decades.” 98+ Pts – Wine Advocate

“The 2016 Grange includes 3% Cabernet Sauvignon and was sourced from Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and Clare Valley, with a little bit from Magill Estate, in the suburbs of Adelaide. Aged in 100% new American oak (as always), it offers up trademark lifted aromas plus scents of vanilla, toasted coconut, cedar, raspberries and blackberries. Impressively concentrated and full-bodied, with an extraordinarily long, velvety finish, it’s nevertheless reasonably fresh and tight, with decades of cellaring potential if properly stored. Certainly at least on a par with such vintages as 2010 and 2012, the big question is whether it will ultimately reach triple digits.” 99 Pts – Wine Advocate

“The 2014 Grange is a blend of 98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from Barossa Vale, McLaren Vale, Wrattonbully, Coonawarra, Clare Valley and Magill Estate. Harvest was variable between the regions, with heat spikes and St Valentine’s Day rain contributing to a long, slow ripening, or, in arcane Peter Gago-speak: ‘a timely pre-harvest vintage mnemonic’. It’s matured for 20 months in new American oak hogsheads, and the perfumes are quite lovely, already pronounced and distinctly Grange, with subtle but intense liquorice, the vanilla spice of American oak, blackberry and damson fruits, and underlying gamey notes. There’s a silky quality to the texture on the palate, showing depth, balance and complexity with concentrated blackberry and a hint of dark chocolate. As the tannins appear to be softer, juicier and more approachable than previous, more ‘classic’ Granges at this stage, the voluptuousness presages well for excellent medium-to-long-term drinking, starting in the next couple of years. It will star with slow-cooked pork belly or boeuf en daube. Drinking Window 2020 – 2040” 97 Pts – Decanter

” So much going on in the glass; it’s a tempestuous opera with a big cast. On the nose, there’s high lift from a big, generous swirl of fruity aromas that carry a hint of fermented fig among the blackberry, dark plum and aniseed. Investigate further on the palate and there’s a lot going on within its dense hedge of dark berries and secondary flavours of mocha and liquorice. Ultimately, it’s the heavy black notes that win out and persist, but there is so much to ponder, even after the event has concluded. A Grange worth mulling over. “ 98 Pts – Decanter

“At first glance, this is a purely indulgent wine, with gobs of creamy, milk chocolate-laden maraschino cherry, raspberry framboise and Earl Grey tea aromas. Then wave after wave of elements start filling in, with toasted cumin, peppermint oil, Kalamata olive and white pepper notes, combining into an almost overwhelming amount of details. Becomes indulgent again on the long, lush finish. *Collectibles*” 98 Pts – Wine Spectator

“Distinctive and powerful, yet still elegant, showing restraint despite the dense and generous flavors. Precise notes of dark chocolate, maraschino cherry, mahogany and toasted coconut complement the core of wild blackberry and blueberry fruit. The tannins are smooth and polished, delivering some tug on the finish, which persists as subtle hints of dried lavender and white pepper linger. Drink now through 2040.” 97 Pts – Wine Spectator

“It’s always a pleasure to taste what is unquestionably the reference point wine for Australia, and the 2014 Grange doesn’t disappoint. From a more difficult vintage for South Australia, it’s a blend of 98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon that spent 20 months in all new American oak hogsheads, hitting a normal alcohol level of 14.5 with a healthy pH and acidity. Inky purple/blue colored, it offers a rocking bouquet of ripe plums, blueberries, vanilla bean, espresso, and graphite, with hints of mint and flowers developing with time in the glass. Deep, rich, fabulously concentrated, and pure on the palate, it stays tight and compact, with notable precision and length. It’s a seriously structured yet impeccably balanced effort that needs a solid 5-6 years to shed some tannin and gain volume, and will keep for 2+ decades after that.” 97 Pts – Jeb Dunnuck

“The flagship 2015 Grange is a monster of wine and one of those rare wines that blends power and elegance perfectly. Revealing a saturated purple color, it’s seemingly more forward and seductive than past great vintages, which I suspect is due to the incredible purity of fruit as well as the wine’s flawless balance than any change in winemaking or stylistic shifts. I also think the acidity is healthy, and the 2015 tips the scales at 14.5% alcohol, which is certainly in the sweet spot, if not tame, for beautifully ripe Syrah these days. A blend of 98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon that spent 20 months in new American oak hogsheads, it offers an extraordinary perfume of sweet crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings, camphor, Asian spices, licorice, and wildflowers. This is followed by a full-bodied, powerful yet incredibly seamless and elegant Shiraz that has no hard edges, a big, dense mid-palate, ripe tannins, and a great finish. Coming close to rivaling the 1986, which has always been a benchmark vintage of Grange for me, the 2015 offers a more polished, elegant, approachable style. Vintage comparisons aside, this is a legendary example of Grange in the making. The savvy wine lovers out there will give this 7-8 years of bottle age (I’ll probably be out of bottles by then) and enjoy over the following 2-3 decades.” 99 Pts – Jeb Dunnuck

“98% Shiraz, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Wrattonbully, Coonawarra, Clare Valley and Magill Estate, matured for 20 months in new American hogsheads. Excellent colour for age; the ultra-fragrant and expressive bouquet implacably draws you in; a great deal of work must have gone into the blending of the components and drawing them seamlessly. An aristocratic Grange with all the components in utter harmony.” 98 Pts – James Halliday

“Penfolds nailed the great vintage, making a wine that is perfect in every way. The blend of 97% shiraz and 3% cabernet sauvignon comes from the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Clare Valley and Magill Estate in Adelaide, in that order, and as usual spent 18 months in new American hogsheads. Its detail is superb, with light and shade allowing blackberry and plum fruit pride of place, but there’s also flashes of spice and licorice. It’s as mouthwatering with the last taste as the first, and 7.3g/l of acidity leaves the mouth fresh.” 99 Pts – James Halliday

“The latest vintage of this iconic wine is more approachable and elegant than in previous years. This 98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon blend offers an ocean of aromas: plum, mocha, coffee, tomato leaf, black olive, ground pepper, cedar, wet tarmac and sage. These tones swell towards a beautifully balanced palate that is powerful yet poised and silky in texture. The American oak is there but feels quieter than it has in the past, letting other nuances wash ashore, all held afloat by fine-grained herb and salt-flecked tannins. While other vintages seem untouchable in their youth, the 2014, with time in decanter, could offer immediate gratification yet still cellar through 2044. *Cellar Selection*” 97 Pts – Wine Enthusiast

“Shows a cooler and more savory style from the get go. Darker, spicy aromas with notes of clove and soy, blackberries, bracken and wood, dried orange and dark chocolate. The depth of flavor is undeniable. There’s elegance here too, in the sense that it is chiseled and contained, only broadening out at the finish. This has some growth to come in the bottle. Peter Gago’s description of the tannins as ‘slaty’ is spot on; they are dark, stony and slick, smooth and strong. The flavors hang long into a tight, toasty and spicy finish. Luxuriant, long and powerful. A blend of 98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Wrattonbully, Coonawarra, Clare Valley and Magill Estate. 20 months in 100 per cent new American-oak hogsheads. Try from 2025 and best after 2030.” 96 Pts – James Suckling

“Much anticipated vintage for Grange and it is a powerhouse of concentration and complexity. Aromas of orange and lemon peel to start, then graphite, blackberries, plum paste, black cherries, boundless sweet oak spice, fresh cedar, tar, mahogany, roasted coffee and chocolate – the list goes on. Such complexity. Classic Grange, offering such deep, dark intensity. The palate has immense richness and depth with a super succulent and very long, fleshy, deeply weighted array of dense, velvet-wrapped tannins that run so long. The fruit flavors sit in the blackberry, blood-plum and blueberry zone with succulent, long and assertive structure, carrying through in an utterly seamless mode. The finish is tightly wrenched, in spectacularly powerful style, locking this wine in for a very long haul. Best from 2030.” 100 Pts – James Suckling

“This is a very intense Grange with such rich black-fruit, tar and coal-smoke aromas together with iodine and black-olive notes and an array of wild dark herbs. Almost impenetrable dark plums and licorice, as well as bacon fat. The palate has such seamless delivery of intense blackberry and plum flavors with some redder tones emerging, too. The power here is countered by such freshness and an almost elegant feel. This has such impressive, vibrant, long and seamless fruit power. Really is exceptionally complete, but tight, needs time to open. Very enjoyable now, but better after 2023.” 98 Pts – James Suckling

“Grange is a blend from Penfolds’ top vineyards and best growers, including fruit from Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Wrattonbully (a first for Grange), Coonawarra, Clare Valley and the Magill Estate in the Adelaide Hills, where the winery got its start. That fruit selection finishes fermentation in new American oak barrels, where it then ages for 20 months. Peter Gago, who oversees the winemaking team, notes that winter and early-season rains differed substantially from Barossa and Clare down to McLaren Vale and Coonawarra. It was a warm summer to the north, with heat spikes in the south; then rain delayed harvest, allowing the fruit to ripen under generally cooler weather. That, in turn, allowed Gago to blend a plump, succulent Grange with complex layers of flavor, completely savory and ripe. The flavors might bring to mind black olive, black currant and seedy blackberries, accelerated by the espresso scents of new oak. There’s a restrained, slow-motion mineral explosion in the end, taking days to develop, lasting with a formality and elegance that belies the wine’s intoxicating richness. Great vintages of Grange last for decades; the original wines from the 1950s and ’60s are still remarkably fit, as this one should be decades from now.” 96 Pts – Wine & Spirits

“This vintage of the famed wine is perhaps its most approachable to date. The nose is open and expressive, with waves of aromas ranging from licorice, currant and plum to baking spice, furniture polish, freshly picked olive, mushroom and vanilla. The mouthfeel is satiny in texture, awash with fruit and spices of all shapes and sizes, all wound by fine tannins. Drink through 2040.” 97 Pts – Wine Enthusiast

“From a solid vintage in South Australia, this wine seamlessly weaves together notes of Italian plum, black cherry, mocha, cigar box and a plethora of herbs and spices. The palate is chiseled, all rippling, glistening muscles, but without the top heaviness. Ultrafine tannins cinch vibrant fruit while that cigar box element lingers on the lengthy finish.” 97 Pts – Wine Enthusiast Cellar Selection

Winery

Tipsy Knitter Wines – Your Seattle based, online wine shop

Additional information

Vintage

2014, 2015, 2016

Bottle Size

750mL